Several things will influence your decision to move forward with an underpinning project. Another thing that will be a priority for a professional underpinning contractor is all the safety precautions worth taking before commencing the actual underpinning work.
Some of the top safety pointers that an expert underpinning contractor will adhere to include, but are not limited to, the following.
1. Survey Of The Adjoining Building
It's not enough to simply serve your neighbours with a notice informing them of your intent to underpin your property. The underpinning contractor may need to undertake a thorough investigation of the state of the adjoining structures. The work on your foundation will more than likely have an impact on the foundation of the adjoining building, which is the larger reason why such a survey is critical.
2. Reducing The Imposed Load
Reducing the amount of imposed load can help to make the underpinning safer and much more manageable. While the underpinning contractor may not be the one to do this for you, you can always get their professional insight on what you may need to move around. Think of those heavy pieces of furniture and any other equally heavy loads.
3. Protecting Utility Lines
The underpinning contractor will identify, trace and protect utility lines carrying water and wastewater, power, and gas. Accidentally tampering with these lines during underpinning can be a great safety issue, not to mention the added expense of reconstruction and restoration.
Again, the contractor will recommend fixing any leaks identified during this survey. With the pit underpinning method, for example, it will be quite the tragedy if the pits flood. Underground power cables are also always a cause for concern, and the crew should always practice extreme caution when working near such cables.
4. Installation Of Temporary Support
Depending on several factors, providing temporary support may be necessary before any underpinning work can begin. In this case, the underpinning contractor will install shoring. Sometimes, the shoring will not be just on your building, but also on adjoining buildings. Depending on the load that the shores will support, the contractor may decide to go with timber or steel shoring.
The safety of the crew working underpinning contractor, your family, neighbours and anyone else who may come close to your building during the underpinning project is a priority. The highlighted pointers, among others, help to guarantee that safety prior to the start of your project.